The Underside of Dakar Regional Express Line

On Monday, January 14, 2019, the President of the Republic of Senegal, His Excellency Macky Sall, inaugurated the first section of the Dakar Regional Express Train (TER), which will connect Dakar Central Station to the Blaise-Diagne International Airport (AIBD).

This first section, 36km long, links Dakar city center to the urban center of Diamniadio.

Once completed, the 57km line will connect Dakar’s Central Station to its airport in less than one hour. Much awaited by Senegalese people, the TER will have 14 stations and will provide better access between the suburbs of Dakar and the center of the capital. The railway is composed of two lines for passenger transportation, plus an additional line uniquely used for freight transportation. In the underside of the Dakar Regional Express Train is Consolis, a European leader in precast concrete solutions, which delivered all the sleepers to build up these tracks, notably thanks to a unique logistics solution.

Precast concrete products are innovative modular construction elements, made in specialised industrial plants and delivered to the construction site for assembly. Consolis’ expertise encompasses 3 key steps of the construction value chain: design, manufacturing and assembly of construction solutions both for building and infrastructure. The Group has posted sales of more than €1.4 Bn a year. One of the worldwide leaders in concrete sleepers, Consolis has over a century of Rail supply and its yearly production is equivalent to over 3 million sleepers per year.

For the Dakar Regional Express Train, Consolis leveraged its specific know-how with a unique logistics lifting system. Its Portuguese subsidiary Satepor, which is particularly well positioned in terms of exports, has developed a unique system which optimizes sleeper handling, knowing that a monoblock weighs about 280 kilos each. This solution allows direct loading and unloading of sleepers in standard 20’ DRY container, starting at Freixianda plant were they were produced in between Lisbon and Porto. And in one handling action, a container goes from truck to boat and vice-versa.

In total, 230,000 monoblock sleepers have been sent from Portugal in 2,800 containers, out of which 1/3rd of metric track to the benefit of TSO, the company installing the freight line, and 2/3rd of standard track to the benefit of Eiffage in charge of the passengers’ lines.

Consolis has long term partnerships with its customers, such as 40 years of high speed sleeper supply to SNCF in France (involving a total delivery of 5.5 million high speed line sleepers) and 10 years to TRANSTU in Tunisia. The Group has been involved in major rail projects in Africa. From Algeria to South Africa, the Group has contributed to all sorts of railway: urban (metros and trams), interurban and freight lines. Consolis stands out for its flexible approach to meeting the needs of its customers, including a wide range of solutions (e. g. metric or standard lines), via export or by developing new plants locally. The Group aims to be a long term partner to support projects in Africa.

  • Focus on a selection of recent examples of railways made with Consolis know-how in Africa: In Algeria, Consolis provided INFRARAIL 2 turnkey factories to produce monoblock sleepers (the plants of Hassi Baba and Bouti Sayah).In Morocco, the Group supports the development of the rail network (development of a factory locally) and has ensured local production of twin block sleepers for Rabat and Casablanca tramways.In Guinea, the Group supplied 30,000 monoblock sleepers for the heavy haul line connecting Kamsar to the bauxite mines.In Mozambique more than 60,000 metric gauge monoblock sleepers were exported from Portugal for the rehabilitation of Sena line linking the Moatize coal basin to the port of Beira.In South Africa, 300 linear metres of bearers for switches and crossings were imported from Europe.

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